back to article Richard Branson plans to trump Jeff Bezos by 9 days in billionaires' space race

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson is set to take his first jaunt to the edge of space ahead of commercial spaceflight rival Jeff Bezos, with an 11 July trip aboard VSS Unity. Last night's announcement listed Branson among the four passengers aboard the flight, the 22nd flight test for the rocket-powered glider, although …

  1. knarf

    Do we have to let them back in ?

    Sure we could drum up a no return policy for mother earth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do we have to let them back in ?

      Where is Zachary Smith when you need him most?

      1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

        Re: Do we have to let them back in ?

        That’s Doctor Zachary Smith, you bellicose bumpkin!

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Do we have to let them back in ?

      Just tell them (after they have taken off...) that they'll need to quarantine up there for 2 weeks before they can land anywhere on earth. After all, we are still in a pandemic, aren't we?

    3. adam 40 Silver badge

      What goes up, must come down...

      But not necessarily in one piece!

    4. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Do we have to let them back in ?

      Whilst I appreciate your sentiment, don't you think there is more than enough junk up there already?

    5. Ashto5

      Re: Do we have to let them back in ?

      Don’t hey have to to isolate when they arrive and when they get back ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic... famous for the promise 'it'll be ready next year'

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      And..

      Can I have some of the tax payers money, despite not paying any myself?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Can I have some of the tax payers money, despite not paying any myself?"

        You are thinking of Elon Musk.

        Blue Origin and the Virgins are primarily funded by private investment. Government money has been for services rendered.

        1. graeme leggett

          Beardie hangs out on private island tax free with his money but was happy for UK gov to pay when 8,000 Virgin Atlantic staff were furloughed.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            "Beardie hangs out on private island tax free with his money but was happy for UK gov to pay when 8,000 Virgin Atlantic staff were furloughed."

            I heard a rumor that as a UK tax expat, he can only visit the UK for no more than 72 hours at a go. Not sure if that's true, but it's a good story. Living tax free isn't possible anywhere. His island isn't sovereign so he has to pay somebody and there are other expenses that will add up to more than just paying "tax" in some other location. I expect that it's less than what the US or UK government would extract.

            1. Ken G
              Paris Hilton

              How does he meet quarantine requirements?

            2. werdsmith Silver badge

              Virgin Atlantic don't have 8000 staff, more like 5000 and they are half owned by Delta Airlines.

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Go

      They rushed the Challenger launch as well due to artificial deadlines that overrode safety concerns. That turned out well.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Apollo also was a bit of a race against the Soviets and the end of the decade.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      You know he could have really pissed off Bezos and bid the most for the spare seat.

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Is it to much to ask...

    ...they take off at the same time and meet somewhere in space....and by meet I mean converging at several thousand mph.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Low hanging fruit

    Any billionaire could go to space easy. The feeling about all the underpaid workers, unpaid taxes burning behind you as you thrust yourself on a piece of metal, to show everyone how big of a billionaire you are.

    I'd very much see those "heroes of capitalist revolution" to start a race into making lives of workers better and start paying taxes like small businesses do.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Low hanging fruit

      And managing it only 60years after a hero of the Soviet union did it first

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Low hanging fruit

        If Amazon was allowed to run Gulags Prime...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Low hanging fruit

          Although Yuri did actually orbit and re-enter, not just zoom up 100km and fall back down.

          Amazing when you think we went from Wright Brothers to Earth orbit in <60years and in another 60years we have gone from Sputnik to grocers being able to not really get to space

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Low hanging fruit

            Grocers? I count one bookseller and a record exec.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Low hanging fruit

              Grocers?

              Amazon buy wholefoods

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Low hanging fruit

            It was Alan Shepard that did the suborbital loop, and he managed 116 miles with a Redstone booster.

            59 years ago.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And lo,

    the peasants in their cardboard villages marvelled at the spectacle in the heavens.

    Much discussion was heard around the dumpster fires…

  6. Roger Greenwood

    To quote a well known phrase...

    The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    I hope all the flights go well and everyone returns safely to the earth. Maybe having briefly slipped the surly bonds of earth a brush with the face of god will change them a little....

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: To quote a well known phrase...

      They will not slip the bonds of earth. Last time humans managed that was in the Apollo program. We'll continue being stuck in this (gravity) well.

      That's not sayin I don't share your sentiment, but one astronaut commented that this takes a couple of days: on the first day they pointed out their home regions, on the second their countries. On the third their continents until on the fourth they marveled at the fragile beauty of Earth. I cannot remember the exact quote, or who said it, but it seems like one should make our heads of state spend some weeks up there. Maybe at the same time, so they are forced to cooperate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        And maybe just their heads, to save mass.

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        "Last time humans managed that was in the Apollo program."

        Er... Gravity wells extend to infinity.

        "one astronaut commented that"

        Sci-fi author who'd never been into space, in fact.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: To quote a well known phrase...

          Er... Gravity wells extend to infinity.

          They do, but "slip the bonds of earth" clearly refers to achieving escape velocity in the context of space flight. Obvious like, innit?

          (I've just looked up the author of that sonnet and realised that I used to regularly drive through the village where he's buried, though I can barely picture it now and can't remember ever stopping. Apparently the sonnet is engraved on his headstone.)

    2. tony72

      Re: To quote a well known phrase...

      I don't think the term "early bird" is really applicable to either of these efforts, considering how long they've both been in development, sixteen or seventeen years, I believe. Better late than never, I guess.

      That being said, personally I find the Virgin craft to be the much cooler vehicle, even if it doesn't go quite as high. New Shepard just seems a really uninspiring, play-it-safe design, boosting a capsule up and then landing it by parachute out in the sticks. Comparing that to a manually-flown rocket plane, air-launched from a fantastic-looking carrier aircraft, and landing the passengers back at the take-off site, I know which one I'd want to fly on. If I was the kind of absurdly rich git who's going to be making that choice.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        >>>I know which one I'd want to fly on<<<

        So do I, but SpaceX isn't taking passengers just yet!

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        100% agree, VG does look cooler than the flying dildo.

        To be fair though, from the pics, the view looks to be much better on the Shepard so would you be going for the view or the T-shirt?

        1. Dave559 Silver badge

          Re: To quote a well known phrase...

          I have to say that my thought was: "Those look like somewhat worryingly large windows for something that's going up into the vacuum of space"!

          In disaster-movie-land, you just know that a tiny piece of space junk will strike the window, and an initially small crack will slowly but inexorably spread its way across the glass… I hope the windows are made from extremely toughened glass!

          1. druck Silver badge

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            They aren't going anywhere near high enough to be bothered by orbital debris.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: To quote a well known phrase...

              "They aren't going anywhere near high enough to be bothered by orbital debris."

              I don't know about that. There are a whole bunch of dead Starlink satellites and more all of the time. Who knows when they'll deorbit on their own and the plan is to have better than 12,000 of them flying.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: To quote a well known phrase...

                "Who knows when they'll deorbit on their own and the plan is to have better than 12,000 of them flying."

                Who knows? The people who put them up there and the people who monitor that sort of stuff. They may not know exactly when they will come back down, but there are known factors. They are low enough that they need station keeping fuel to stop them falling.

            2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Re: To quote a well known phrase...

              And that is a classic example of how unintuitive orbital mechanics are. They're going high enough considering they're crossing the stream of oncoming objects.

          2. Ashto5

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            The glass is likely to be damaged by the swelling ego’s of the passengers

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        "That being said, personally I find the Virgin craft to be the much cooler vehicle, even if it doesn't go quite as high."

        Looks can kill and probably will. White Knight 2 is worn out. They've had major structural issues and SS2 has as well. The thinking early on was that SS1 could be scaled up to carry enough passengers to make it something that could generate enough revenue. It turns out that the hybrid rocket motor isn't infinitely scalable. In addition to that, instead of developing the motor first and building the craft around it, they just assumed that they'd iron out the issues they were having and end up with something that would fit in the space allocated. Wellllllllll. It turns out there are better fuels than HTPB rubber but they require more plumbing and it takes away a couple of passenger seats to fit the extra. In addition, that extra stuff adds weight. One problem with using HTPB is towards the end of the burn, it runs very rough. Too rough for delicate meat sacks so they have to leave some gas in the can by shutting down sooner than first planned.

        Rockets have been around for decades now and Blue Origins boring design is due to converging design choices that have been show over and over to work. There are some really clever features of New Shepard. The ring fin braking design with the speed flaps on the booster that are covered for the UP trip by the capsule is a clever way to minimize mechanics while still having a very effective method to slow the booster and keep it oriented bottom side down.

        I've been impressed by Blue Origin's test flights. They have been very smooth and have gone like clockwork as the vehicle has matured. As a rocket engineer (lapsed), I know what to look for which is why I bash Elon's Starship as such a mess. I can't detect every issue from watching videos, but the ones I can are fundamental and should have been addressed very early instead of showing up again and again. I've got a few quid in the kitty right now and I'm tempted to rent a really long lens and camp out on South Padre Island for the booster test flight. I'll get one of those silver fire suits I can put over bomb squad armor and use my second best camera.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: To quote a well known phrase...

          "White Knight 2 is worn out."

          Sounds about right, for the test vehicle at the end of the test program.

          "It turns out that the hybrid rocket motor isn't infinitely scalable."

          That's interesting, I hadn't seen anything about that. Do you have links? (Not citation-needed, but gimme-the-reading-material :)

          I'm more of a fan of the Virgin approach than the Muskian approach because, tbh, there's nothing new in what Space-X are doing. It's a way of making traditional rockets cheaper. Virgin are at least trying to build an air-breathing first stage, and if they get it right they'll forget about the passenger fundraiser flights and be able to launch stuff incredibly cheaply in comparison to SpaceX. It's obviously how we have to go one day, might as well get there sooner.

          1. graeme leggett

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            Nothing that new in what Virgin are doing. Parasite aircraft launch was how Yaeger went Mach 1 in 1947 and X-15s flew into space in the 1960s.

            1. Ashto5

              Re: To quote a well known phrase...

              Did not know about the X-15

              Wow pretty amazing stuff

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: To quote a well known phrase...

                You must be young :-)

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            "That's interesting, I hadn't seen anything about that. Do you have links? (Not citation-needed, but gimme-the-reading-material :)"

            I don't have a source(s) I can name without them getting in trouble. I don't think that it's a massive secret, just not reported on very much.

            The flight that ended in the copilot being killed had the Nylon fuel grain and used Helium along with the Nitrous to moderate the burn. It was a pilot error and what I see as a poor flight card as being the cause. The accident report says much the same.

            Mike Melville may have a published statement about the roughness of the motor on the SS1 flights. I seem to recall him talking about that. Brian Binnie as well. Brian's book as he originally wrote it was rather critical of the program. I'm not sure how it compares with the one that has been released. You will notice that after the X-Prize win, SS1 never flew again and it now hanging up at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. There's a replica housed at the Mojave Airport close to the Rotary Rocket whose test pilot was also a very crazy Brian Binnie.

          3. Clive Galway

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            For limited values of "stuff"

            You ain't gonna fit a 2nd stage big enough to loft 100 tons of payload to LEO under the wing of any feasible airliner

            Plus, once you have a fully reusable starship, all you are doing by using air launch is saving fuel, which is by far the cheapest part of the launch, and given that SpaceX are going to be getting fuel pretty much for free (They just suck the fuel out of the atmosphere using their fuel farms), then you're probably not saving nigh on anything vs buying jet fuel

            TLDR the bigger the launch vehicle, the lower the cost/kg, and Virgin's system is inherently limited on size

          4. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: To quote a well known phrase...

            "It turns out that the hybrid rocket motor isn't infinitely scalable."

            What rocket motor, or indeed motor of any kind is "infinitely" scalable?

      4. Ken G
        Happy

        Re: To quote a well known phrase...

        Agreed, but then I'd have taken an X-15 over a Mercury back in the day.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Wimps!

    > Branson will be the first of the duo to take a flight

    Yet both have been beaten to space by another billionaire: Charles Simonyi.He made it to the ISS in 2007, so has not just been on a up and down again flight, but orbited, visited the Space Station and then did it again in 2009.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are one-way tickets

    half-price?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Are one-way tickets

      It's suborbital so all tickets are two-way.

      The key difference is that the return trip is less comfortable on the cheap ones, although you do get a much better view.

      1. knarf

        Re: Are one-way tickets

        more like sub-optimal then

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are one-way tickets

        Its Virgin, so it's bound to be a rail replacement bus service

        (in the good ole days it would have been a shuttle... I'll get me coat...)

    2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

      Re: Are one-way tickets

      sold by dignitas?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I evil ?

    I do hope that everybody survives, but is it too much to ask that everything that could possibly go wrong without loss of life does go wrong. It is best for problems to happen early in the bathtub curve, during the infant mortality phase rather than just a normal random failures. And having billionaires survive, as opposed to die, should make these things much safer faster.

    1. Beeblebrox

      Re: Am I evil ?

      Are you short?

  10. David Pearce

    The VG craft is probably similar risk to a helicopter flight, but Bezos is taking a far greater risk sitting on top of a controlled explosion. Spaceflight is not for people who need to buy life insurance

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      The virgin is still an air launched missile once it gets dropped form the carrier

      In a way it's riskier, you are relying on the carrier aircraft not having a bad day as well as the rocket gizmo working.

      That's one of the issues the Pegasus system had

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ain't that how most cars work too?

  11. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Happy

    A 'Thank You' - Reclaiming the word

    "Unashamed showman Branson has tried to trump that, even if VSS Unity will not soar as high as the New Shepard."

    Just thanks very much for using the word "trump" all in lower case for a meaning other than, well, you know. Such a relief that we can now reclaim the word and use it as before.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A 'Thank You' - Reclaiming the word

      Are we allowed to sing Nellie the Elephant again without fear of censure?

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: A 'Thank You' - Reclaiming the word

        "Are we allowed to sing Nellie the Elephant again without fear of censure?"

        I hope not. Any controversy is icing on the cake when belting out an off key rendition. Of any Toy Dolls song for that matter.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: A 'Thank You' - Reclaiming the word

          Toy Dolls? Naaaaaaaa. Proper versions.

          Mind you, even Crazy Frogs version is better than Toy Dols :-)

  12. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Sigh

    Given how successful SpaceX has been, Branson vs Bezos is like two dads trying to outcompete each other in the school sports day egg and spoon race while their neighbour has an Olympic gold medal for the marathon.

    1. yetanotheraoc

      Re: Sigh

      Well, I will never have an Olympic medal of any metal. But if I am entered in an egg and spoon race, I am going to win, dammit!

      1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: Sigh

        Be free of that yolk and crack on!!! ----->

    2. Joe W Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Sigh

      This is one of the best comments I read.

      Ever.

      Thanks and have another one of those ~~>

      Local brewery, grew up in that village.

      It's also a bit like those random age groupers with a 2hr+ half marathon cheating by cutting the course. Seriously, I saw that. Pathetic.

    3. Beeblebrox

      Re: Sigh

      Musk

  13. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    Is it just me...

    ... that is cheering him on? I genuinely wish him well. Of course he's a smart guy, but he has been at this for twenty years and has gone through some really bad times. And it looks like now the competition is certainly driving things forward.

    Longer term (2030?) we could have a global sub-orbital transport system in place -- still for the select few because of cost -- but something that has not been possible before. 2040 maybe, this will be far more affordable by many, many people. Who knows? His system -- short hops around the Earth -- could be the new Google of future long-haul travel.

    The future is what we make it. Go, Richard, go!! :-)

    (Oh, and kudos to the late Paul Allen as well.)

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me...

      Yes it's just you that wants a tax dodging, making pointless "advances" for other extremely rich people to puss their money away on vanity projects while exploiting others.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me...

      "could be the new Google of future long-haul travel."

      Current short and long haul aircraft and the plans on the drawing boards are for aircraft to be as efficient as possible, both in fuel and number of passengers. Emissions, both air and noise pollution, are pretty important to most people and governments these days, the current news stories about proposed supersonic flight notwithstanding. I do wonder if there's a real market for point to point sub-orbitals before there is a clean way of doing it,

      BO is currently using LNG_oxygen, VG is using HTPB) nitrous oxide, SpaceX is using Kerosene and Oxygen, none of which can be called green.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Is it just me...

        "SpaceX is using Kerosene and Oxygen, none of which can be called green."

        Starship is Methane/Lox.

        Masten Space Systems rockets Xombie, Xoie and Brutus were Lox/IPA.

        Lox/H2 is sort of green, but separating the H2 isn't and generating the Lox takes energy that won't be 100% "green"

        I don't see any rocket having green cred anytime soon. The energy density required doesn't lend itself to that sort of thing.

        Point to point rocket travel isn't viable. The idea has been around for over a century and airplanes are faster and more reliable. It may take more air time in a plane, but ground time for a rocket can be many times longer. Need to move people and supplies, a C-5 or C-17 is cheaper, safer, more versatile and faster.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Is it just me...

          "Masten Space Systems rockets Xombie, Xoie and Brutus were Lox/IPA."

          IPA? Did Masten Space Systems think The Makeshift Rocket by Poul Anderson was an instruction manual?

  14. Dave559 Silver badge

    Its last test flight reached just over 89km while the New Shepard went comfortably beyond 100km.

    "Its last test flight reached just over 89km while the New Shepard went comfortably beyond 100km."

    I guess it's kind of a requirement of being a Virgin to never quite make it to the finish line?

    1. Atomic Duetto

      Third base

      Elon should leave a converted starship booster space station up in orbit and simply call it third base, invite Branson over, or Bezos (if he can get it up, natch)

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Third base

        "Elon should leave a converted starship booster space station up in orbit and simply call it third base'

        The problem is the booster doesn't go into orbit. To get it there will take a bunch more fuel and more parasitic weight in attitude jets to maintain position.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Third base

          On the other hand, a stripped down starship could easily get to orbit with a lot of spare space inside. Considering the planned use as a shuttle to Mars, it can clearly get to orbit with quite a payload mass. I wonder if said mass would be enough to launch a fully operational space station? Launch a 6-way docking adaptor, permanently dock four Starship "space stations" in a cross configuration and leach two docking ports for a "lifeboat" and visiting craft on the other axis. Possibly even rotate it for some level of artificial "gravity". 1950/60's SciFi, here we come :-)

          1. Clive Galway

            Re: Third base

            > it can clearly get to orbit with quite a payload mass

            From mars - yes (Lower gravity, less air resistance). From earth - no

            Artificial gravity will require a bigger object than two starships nose-to-nose. The distance from an occupant to the center of rotation needs to be quite a way, else your head and feet are moving at significantly different speeds and you get dizzy.

  15. martinusher Silver badge

    Its really not a race

    My only contribution to aviation (and space) is that I fly model sailplanes. They're quite large, they're not like what many people think of as model aircraft, and because of their size and flying characteristics you learn to be quite careful with building and flying them. Despite this I've crashed a few and so I've had a bit of practice at sifting through the debris figuring out what went wrong. The most common cause -- apart from good old pilot error -- is launching something that's just not quite right. You want to fly the thing, you don't want to cart it off home for another week, and so you launch it. Launching these things involves a fairly powerful winch so once you're off then its a bit late to realize that "It will be all right on the night" never is..

    Bezos and Branson are amateurs, they're flying their own versions of models. Sure they can afford an army of professionals to design and build their creations but unless they work slowly and methodically rather than worrying about who's ahead of who (particularly, as someone else has pointed out, SpaceX has long disappeared into the distance) then they're an accident waiting to happen.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Its really not a race

      "Bezos and Branson are amateurs,"

      Both of them are in management and seem to not be making themselves a royal PIA by dictating to engineering what to do like contestant number three. Blue Origin is top notch. They don't talk a lot and spend time getting it as correct as possible rather than just firing stuff up and seeing if it explodes. Bezos is a huge checkbook and reminds me of DD Harriman from "The Man Who Sold the Moon". He's a space nut and wants to spend his money to pay somebody to build a rocket he can ride on. Branson is an Ad and Marketing guy along with a fundraiser. His investment in the parent of Virgin Galactic is sleight at this point. He's dumped a bunch of stock which should be telling. Virgin Orbit isn't novel. It's yet another carrier plane with rocket from the Mojave Air and Space Port. White Knights 1 & 2, Star Gazer/Pegasus, Stratolaunch (Birdzilla), and Virgin Orbit. Down the road at the North Gate of Edwards AFB, there's a B-52 with the mount for carrying the X-15. Must be someting in the desert soil, mon.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Its really not a race

      Neither New Shepard nor VSS Unity are 'models'. They're trying things differently, just like Virgin Orbit is trying things differently to Orbital Sciences (Orbital ATK, now part of Northrop Grumman) who took the US Air Force and NASA's idea of launching vehicles off a flying platform and customised a Lockheed Tri-Star (the Stargazer) for that.

      Add the late Paul Allen's StratoLaunch who built a similar monster to the White Knight of Virgin Galactic, but much bigger. It's nicknamed the Roc, and it made its second flight recently.

      So yes, the space business is a playground for a variety of folks. You can either:

      - Pay ULA, NASA, Arianespace or Roskosmos (or maybe the Chinese or Japanese) for the classic big ass big-beef rockets to get stuff into orbit or beyond.

      - Pay SpaceX or Rocketlab to punt dinkier things into LEO using the same kind of 'stand it up and set its arse on fire' kind as the above, and pay less if you use something that's flown before. Yay for recycling!

      - Pay Virgin Orbit to fly Cosmic Girl up to 47,000 feet and launch LauncherOne with your package on it into sun-synchronous orbit.

      - Pay Stratolaunch, when they eventually launch a business, to do the same as Virgin Orbit but with a bit more oomph.

      - Pay Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin to put *you* in orbit

      - Pay Roskosmos to put you on the ISS.

      The range is wide and varied - All are different applications for different purposes... I have no beef with any of them trying stuff. The more, the merrier... and may it help drive technology and the space 'race' forward.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really, who gives a fuck about these two complete wank stains stroking their's and other's ego's rather than using the money to actually help people. The only publicity they deserve is derision.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      They employ a lot of people to do this, and if it works will employ them in a sustainable way. That's very helpful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        so, two egomanic taxdodgers employ a few people to make rockets. big fucking deal.

        that's no excuse for their willy-waving behaviour over who has the shiniest toy.

        beardie and bezos probably employ more financial engineers than rocket engineers. their accountants and lawyers set things up sp they can weasel out of paying their proper share of tax. that's very far from helpful.

        how many more nurses or teachers or firefighters could be employed if these two arseholes paid the going rate on their income/wealth like the rest of us do?

  17. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Fat Cats in Space

    Pigs[Fat Cats] in Space

    Though these are Mega Fat Cats

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delos D. Harriman would cry

    RIP RAH

  19. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    I wouldn't mind but for the fact that they're burning up oodles of oxygen and polluting my air, much more once their "Space" ventures really take off... which wouldn't be all that bad if they were actually doing something useful, which they're not, it's merely brief tourism and a stupid waste of resources.

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